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Designing Your Classroom for Technology Use

Technology is useful for preparing information to present, presenting the information, for making contact with experts around the world and for a myriad of other activities.  Setting up a classroom with computers can be challenging for many reasons. The physical layout of many classrooms today was devised prior tothe advent of computers.  Before you place computers in your classroom, there are a few considerations:

1) Wiring may pose a problem or may even restrict where computers are placed. Always talk with your facilities management people about how many things you can plug into existing outlets. Always use surge protectors to protect the computers from power spikes that will burn out their delicate components.

2) Consider placing computer learning areas together so students can collaborate on projects.

3) Don't use tables that were used for writing surfaces or holding lunch plates. These table surfaces were designed to be  used at a greater height from the floor than those used for computers. If possible, use a surface that is designed for use with computers. The height may vary depending on whether adult or children will be using the surface.  Ask for guidance from a professional ergonomist before you purchase.  The ECEE technical committee is working on guidelines for furniture and they will be posted when available.

4) Do consider where you will be standing when you are teaching. Being able to see the monitor screens allows you to keep an eye on what the students are looking at.

5) Do have an image projection system that can be seen in normally bright classrooms.

6) Do project images onto an appropriate surface that is free of glare. Painted walls are not appropriate surfaces because they distort images and colours.

7) Do project images you want your students to see where they can see the images and their monitor screens at the same time. This way they can see and practice skills if needed.

8) Do project images and text that are large enough to be seen by students who are furthest away from the images. Seat students with visual impairments where they can see the images without straining.

9) Do have a sound system that allows you to vary loudness of the audio being heard. You may need special equipment enhancements for students with hearing impairments.

 

   
   
 
last updated Octover 4, 2006
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